Learoyd, Richard

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Richard Learoyd

Lancashire, England, 1966


Richard Learoyd has stood out in the last decade as one of the most brilliant innovators in fine art photography. In 1990 he graduated with a degree in Fine Art Photography from Glasgow School of Art where one of his tutors was landscape photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper. The photographer claims that his life really began when  he started to collaborate with Cooper. A year later he worked as artist-in-residence with Scottish Ballet, in the same Scottish city. His first solo exhibition was in 1992 at the Stills Gallery in Edinburgh while he was completing his postgraduate course, in which he began to investigate the photographic process of the camera obscura.

In 1994 he started teaching photography at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art, a post he held until 1999. In 2000 he moved to London where he began his career as a commercial photographer, work he continued for several years until he decided to pursue a career linked to the world of art. In 2003 he revisited the idea of the camera obscura, of complex production, which returns to the origins of photography. Making use of a camera obscura and using long periods of exposure, Learoyd captures nudes, portraits and large-scale still life in color which personalize his work and open the way to museums and galleries. He progressively made the results of his particular research public: in 2007 he exhibited at the Union Gallery in London and two years later at the McKee Gallery in New York. In 2010 he was invited by the International Center of Photography in New York to give a lecture on the subject and the following year solo exhibitions were held at the Frankel Gallery in San Francisco and, once again, at the McKee in London; both galleries showed his work again in 2013.

Recently he has also participated in some outstanding group exhibitions: among these, the Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present stands out. (The National Gallery, London; and CaixaForum, Madrid y Barcelona, 2012-2013), about the pictorial influence of photography; and Negativeless (Michael Hoepen Gallery, London, 2014), which looks at the history of images produced without negatives.

His work forms part of, among others, the collections of The Getty, Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Canada, Yale University Art Gallery and Fundación MAPFRE.